Love your wallet: eleven fuel saving tips to put money back in your pocket

Over the last few years fuel prices, and by extension vehicle economy, have come into focus as a major factor for a lot of household's budgets. Think about for a moment what percentage of your weekly budget disappears into the tank. Now, would you like some of that back? Its easier than you think if you follow some simple rules that don't include driving everywhere at 30 mph.

For a few extra dollars in your pocket at the end of the week, make sure you follow these helpful tips published by The Daily Herald:
  1. Keep the car in as high a gear as possible and get to the higher gears as quickly as possible.
  2. Have a light touch on the throttle. For most applications 25 per cent throttle is quite adequate. Hard acceleration is the enemy of fuel economy.
  3. Look ahead and read traffic conditions. Plan to maintain momentum, reducing the need for excessive braking and subsequent acceleration.
  4. Monitor tyre pressures. Low pressures increase rolling resistance of tyres and use more fuel. You should keep to the manufacturer's specifications.
  5. Stick to the speed limit. High speeds use more fuel.
  6. Reduce mass and drag. You would be surprised how much unnecessary equipment accumulates in the boot of a car. Roof pods, racks and extended wing mirrors all minimise the efficiency of a car through the air. More weight and drag equals less economy. Remove the bits when they are not being used.
  7. Avoid idling as you are wasting fuel going nowhere.
  8. Keep your vehicle in shape; clean air filters keep impurities in the air from damaging the engine and can improve fuel economy.
  9. Don't turn on the air conditioner as a first response to heat; even the most efficient air conditioners expend a fair bit of fuel.
  10. When buying a car, consider its fuel economy.
And 11. Ride a bike!

Analysis: Ditching the roof racks and turfing out the bullion hidden in your boot is a no-brainer, but remembering that low gears, air conditioning and hard acceleration are fuel economy killers is the key in the long run. If we all held off the lead shoe for a week maybe we could put a dent in those Exxon profits?

[Source: Daily Telegraph]

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